[eDebate] ???Overturning Roe v Wade????

J T jtedebate
Mon Apr 10 13:46:11 CDT 2006

While I have definite misgivings about Roe v. Wade as a possible decision to include (primarily fair/equitable ground), I do not think it should be rejected outright...it would obviously not be the sole decision in the resolution:

1. It is certainly conceivable that a conservative trend in American politics could jeopardize Roe v. Wade in the future.  Beth was correct: refusing to discuss the issue solves nothing. Without your voices, you do a disservice to those who would stand in support. "Victory" in reproductive rights is hardly a given.

2. Roe v. Wade is not a panacea. Why is the very idea of debating this decision so offensive? Is every aspect of the decision perfect? (No, it uses sexist language) You know, the Nazis said people shouldn't question state holdings...and they shot people...
Really, should we not question Korematsu? Or Padilla? No decision is infallible...Holding this decision as the bastion of feminist of women's salvation can only breed complacency. Sacrificing agency to the state rarely serves the needs of women or anyone else. There's always a chance your staunch refusal to accept a call to overturn Roe could change someone's mind. If it is a good decisioin, then protect it...That's why the Neg (pro-Roe) would likely win these debates.

3. You do not have to betray your beliefs.  Perhaps there is a decision that would be heard post-overturn that strengthens the protections within Roe v. Wade...? Or you could just run a different case. If Roe was but one of several decisions from which Affs could choose, you have no complaint. As a judge, you can also refuse to hear/vote for Overturn Roe v. Wade Affs.

4. Witholding participation is reactionary at best. Threatening to not attend CEDA Nats or the NDT because your personal politics are at odds with one aspect of the resolution (which you are not forced to defend) sets a precedent (at least on the individual squad level) that debaters who might hold views at odds with the coaching staff are necessarily silenced. You'd have some serious explaining to do to your Administration in justifying this action. Don't on the sidelines of an edebate post...Debate, be better and more convicted than your opponents, win, support your cause.

Beth Skinner <beth.skinner at gmail.com> wrote: I'm not going to address the topic selection process issues, just the inclusion of Roe v Wade in the list of potential topics.
 1. Running away doesn't solve anything.  This is an important social issue in and out of debates.  Choosing not to participate is voluntarily giving up your voice in discussions.  This choice cedes the battlefield to the very people you don't want to have prevail. 
 2. You don't have to advocate things you don't believe.  Unless the whole topic is Roe v Wade (and not any other abortion cases which seems unlikely to me) then you can choose a case that restricts abortion to overrule if thats what you like.  Or you can overrule Roe and replace it with something else.  Or you can critique the resolution. 
 3. Abortion is not only an issue for women.  Every pregnancy has two contributors.  Guys whose girls wrestle with the abortion option are often effected just as personally.  Don't essentialize this issue as purely relevant to women.  Don't essentialize all women as belonging on only one side of this issue. 
 4. Is your argument that people shouldn't have to debate about things that matter to them personally?  That seems to run against the grain of a lot of progressive developments in debate recently.  Is it really your argument that its better to argue about fiscal policy than social issues involving racism or sexism? 
 If don't want this topic then don't vote for it but I hope those who consider the issue will take a deeper look at the arguments than just "Oh, I'm pro-choice so I can't debate this."
 Beth Skinner
 Towson Debate

 On 4/10/06, nrichter at umsis.miami.edu <nrichter at umsis.miami.edu > wrote: I completely agree with Nicole. My initial reaction was the same. Debating Roe
v. Wade is horrifying! If the arguments about policy education and training are 
correct, I will not be a part of training future policymakers and lobbyists to
form more persuasive arguments for overturning this ruling. If debate
influences public discussion on the issue, I will not risk increasing the 
likelihood of the decision being overruled. I would also leave the activity
because the potential impact of this topic on the current political climate is
too risky. This topic creates a specific barrier to debate that only womyn have 
to deal with. Womyn should not be forced into a position where they have to
debate or judge something they have or potentially could have a real personal
stake in. I don't think this community would ever consider debating the pros 
and cons of Brown v. Board of Education because it would obviously be racist,
but one of the strongest civil rights decisions for womyn is fine to debate
because it is a "current event." It is very revealing of our community that we 
will finally debate a "womyn's issue" so long as it is done through a
completely conservative approach that advocates taking rights away. With the
already low number of womyn competing, coaching, and judging in this activity, 
(just look at Neil's most recent post), how could people possibly consider this
topic? The complete oversight of the potential damaging effects this will have
on female participation in debate reaffirms an overlooked truth: this community 
is sexist, and only a small portion of the community seems to give a damn!

Oh, and by the way, there is not a single womyn on the new topic committee. Why
is that?

Quoting Nicole < nicole.colston at gmail.com>:

> Okay, I thought this was a silly rumor until the recent Ballot postings
> by
> mancuso.  It was hard to avoid profanity in writing this e-mail and I
> definitely have not planned my formal and large-scale attack on this 
> idea but . . .
> The Question:
> I wanted to know if anyone else thought that including "abortion"- ie
> overturning Roe vs. Wade- as part of the courts topic was a REALLY AWFUL 
> #?#**%5$$%#$#!#%%#%*(&^^%%#%$%^^!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> For the Topic Committee:
> I hope this is not someone's idea of including of women's issues in the 
> topic.  Please consider addressing women's concerns from a different
> issue
> perspective, for ex. pornography or employment practices, or just not
> at
> all!!!!
> For the Community: 
> I will WITHDRAW my squad's participation in NDT/CEDA debate without
> hesitation next year if Roe vs. Wade is included on the ballot.  I am
> sick
> over the extent in which this "activity" has no respect for women and 
> fear
> the effects on female participation if Roe v Wade is included.
> Thoughts on the topic process:
> 1) I do not think we should vote on a topic area that does not have a
> topic 
> paper.  How could I anticipate something as foul as this?
> 2) I feel politically neutralized as a professional in this community,
> as a
> woman, and as a small squad coach by the way this process occurs.  I do 
> not
> support the elitist back-room and ignorant politics that dictate the
> process.  Where, when, and by who are these decisions being made?  Why
> aren't the "Minutes" from topic meetings posted on edebate?  Was there 
> a
> topic meeting at CEDA?  Why aren't students involved?  Why aren't
> experts in
> issue areas involved?
> 3) I would like the thank and encourage those who seem to be a moving to
> a 
> more open! and researched! topic process.  I know that we have
> committed,
> intelligent, and caring people in this community, it is just hard to
> see
> sometimes.
> 4) Let's make the change now, this year.  I hope to be in Kansas City 
> and
> would like to invite anyone who is financially strapped to contact me
> about
> sharing rides/rooms/resources.  Maybe the topic hosts could identify
> cheaper
> camping areas, train/bus options, affordable food options. 
> 5) I think we should webcast the meetings.  Everyone should be able to
> watch
> and IM ideas/responses to the meeting.
> Sending my love for debate- Nicole
> --
> Take a visible stand for peace! 

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